Wednesdays Present a Weekly Challenge for SHS

Wednesdays Present a Weekly Challenge for SHS

Ethan Blanks, Staff Writer

In a year of added stress, there was one fallback for many students and teachers–the open Wednesday schedule. On Wednesdays, students could meet with teachers, catch up on work, sleep in, and handle other personal needs; nevertheless, in an attempt to return to a sense of normalcy, SHS transitioned to a structured Wednesday schedule.

“Sailor Support Day” Wednesdays included 32-minute classes for every block and a longer homeroom period to connect for advisory.  Cohort A and B switched off every week for in-person learning, while Cohort C continued to attend classes virtually.  Though this schedule received a mix of responses from both students and staff, many students were wondering, “What are we even going to do for 32 minutes in a class?” Though teachers were given flexibility, getting a sample of some teachers around the building offers insight into different methods teachers use to keep students engaged.  

Health teacher Shanna Behrje used Wednesdays to promote “self-care.” Wednesdays included sharing new breathing techniques and allowing students to catch up on their work during this hectic time.  Behrje stated, “Change is hard for everyone,”  but overall she liked the Wednesday schedule, as it promoted an easier transition–for students and teachers–to a full-time school schedule.  Behrje’s only concern was the loss of the coveted office hours–a staple for the students of Cohort C.  

SHS art teacher Julie Hickey has been challenged with teaching art during a hybrid schedule. Giving demonstrations and helping students with their assignments while online is no easy task. Hickey admits her plan may not have been “the best way,” but she aimed for a stress-free check-in on Wednesdays. The time constraints limited students’ creativity, as Hickey stated there wasn’t even enough time to do small projects. According to Hickey, the time to prepare and clean up would probably take most of the 32 minutes.  However, Wednesday was a great way for Hickey to check in on students who were struggling to keep up with the demands of their creative work.  Hickey was used to helping her Cohort C students and worries about scheduling enough time to connect with them during Quarter 4.  This is a challenge that has been weighing heavily on many SHS teachers.

Likewise, Cohort C students feel the pressure of not being able to meet with their teachers on Wednesdays.  SHS junior Garrett Wasserman found himself juggling school, sports, and social time after the Wednesday switch.  Saying he “struggled to find time” to meet with teachers due to his busy schedule, which includes lacrosse every day after school. Wasserman had to make ”sacrifices” to be able to balance his ever-changing schedule and routine.  Though Wasserman feels it has been, “difficult to adjust and adapt to the current situation with Wednesdays.” 

As SHS moves to full-time, in-person learning on Monday, April 12th, a new weekly Wednesday schedule may present additional challenges for teachers and students alike.